Book Review: "Stealing Bradford" by Melody Carlson

The Carter House girls are just getting to know one another when the subject of boys comes up. Rhiannon’s dating Bradford, the most popular jock in school, Eliza’s seeing Harry, and even DJ has dated Conner, although now he acts as if he doesn’t like her. Boys aren’t always easy to understand, but every girl in the house wants a boyfriend—and will do just about anything to get one. So when Taylor decides to put the moves on Bradford, Rhiannon is shocked and hurt. Mistakes are made and feelings battered … there is forgiveness for some and bitterness for others … but at the end of the day, the girls learn a valuable lesson about what it means to be a family.

Young Adult edgy Christian fiction is fast becoming one of my new favorite genres. I am enjoying reading about teens in real situations who act like how teens really would act. I sometimes get tired of reading about Christian teens who are always doing the right thing. Yes, we are supposed to stand out and not be a part of the world but at least show how hard it is to confront your peers. This series continues to show that very struggle that happens within a boarding house modern day setting. Taylor keeps shocking me with her everything she does. She is the girl who you hated in high school because she could get away with everything and never got caught. DJ's grandmother is really starting to get on my nerves. I cannot understand what is going on in her head. She seems to care way too much on appearances and favoring those who hide their true intentions and suck up to her. Those that are true to themselves either get ignored or reprimanded. I'm hoping for the day when she finally decides to open her eyes and grows up.

Some people might complain about how this book focuses too much about boys and dating and is inappropriate for young teens. I feel however that this book is targeted at older teens who are dating and experiencing the same thing the Carter House girls are going through. For fans of Gossip Girl and other secular teen lit, this is an example of the perfect alternative for them. It's Christian fiction, but it's not preachy, it's fun and hip, and has characters and situations they will be able to relate too. Liking boys is a natural part of a teen girl's life and this book shows the negative consequences of what happens when you let them take over your life.

I've also been hearing that this series is in talks to be optioned as a TV show. I think this will be an excellent idea if it happens and as long as they keep the story and characters intact, I will be eager to watch it. I hope it will be able to introduce more readers to Melody's books as well.

Stealing Bradford by Melody Carlson is published by Zondervan (2008)


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